“Picture an egg. Day after day, it sits there. No one pays attention to it. No one notices it. Certainly no one takes a picture of it or puts it on the cover of a celebrity-focused business magazine. Then one day, the shell cracks and out jumps a chicken.
All of a sudden, the major magazines and newspapers jump on the story: “Stunning Turnaround at Egg!” and “The Chick Who Led the Breakthrough at Egg!” From the outside, the story always reads like an overnight sensation—as if the egg had suddenly and radically altered itself into a chicken.
Now picture the egg from the chicken’s point of view.
While the outside world was ignoring this seemingly dormant egg, the chicken within was evolving, growing, developing—changing. From the chicken’s point of view, the moment of breakthrough, of cracking the egg, was simply one more step in a long chain of steps that had led to that moment. Granted, it was a big step—but it was hardly the radical transformation that it looked like from the outside.
It’s a silly analogy, but then our conventional way of looking at change is no less silly. Everyone looks for the “miracle moment” when “change happens.” But ask the good-to-great executives when change happened. They cannot pinpoint a single key event that exemplified their successful transition.”
— Jim Collins, author of Good to Great
Last year, Pendant introduced the Revolution Street WXS, a new software application designed to greatly simplify warehouse control. We’ll have much more on Revolution Street developments in future posts. Today’s post is about something different.
Some of the conventional wisdom about why a country like the USA should invest heavily in NASA, for example, is not just for space exploration, but also because of the side benefits, many unanticipated, that emerge. In the specific case of NASA, there exist long lists of inventions that we use down here on our planet. NASA Inventions
Now, we’re not making a comparison of Pendant to NASA, however, the investment in the development of Revolution Street, with the skills we acquired while doing it, led to some interesting other developments.
Like many companies, Pendant over the years relied on a variety of software applications for managing our business. The applications we tried included several CRMs, multiple task/project management apps (often simultaneously), online procurement, online time tracking, finance, document storage, mail, etc. None of the applications was perfectly suited to what we actually do.
Building Revolution Street opened our eyes to the possibility that we could develop our own application to help us manage our business more efficiently, manage and analyze our data more effectively, and provide higher levels of customer service. So we’re investing again, in what we call ProjectX (fancy, right?).
The first modules of ProjectX rolled out a few weeks ago, with more to come as soon as this week. When it’s done, ProjectX will comprise everything we do to acquire new projects and execute them, and will also include some elements of finance and other areas of our business outside of fulfillment.
You might imagine that committing to a project like this requires our team to shape it by contributing more than just technical skills. Jim Collins would revel in the quantity and quality of collaboration and teamwork, internal debate, and accountability accompanying ProjectX development. He would love the way we have to look hard at how we do things, and how we have to be willing to change.
The bottom line is that Pendant will continue to grow. And you, the client, as well as your clients, will see the benefits of our growth. We’ll be faster, better, and better able to help you get your projects done on time and at the cost you expected. You’ll have better and more timely information that will help you make critical decisions. You’ll have a voice in further developments of Revolution Street.
We’re just starting to crack one of the shells. And there are a lot of other shells that look like they’re just sitting there. But not from the inside.